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Norway's top four April Fools' Day tricks

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Norway's top four April Fools' Day tricks
The University of Oslo's Professor Ruth E. Vatvedt Fjeld. Photo: Yngve Vogt/Apollon
18:30 CEST+02:00
Norway's media was more than usually po-faced on April Fools Day this year, with the biggest newspapers and TV channels opting out. But a few brave publications stood firm against the sanctimonious tide to maintain the “Aprilspøker” tradition. Here are some of the best gags of 2015.
Neither Norwegian state broadcaster NRK (one of the most prolific producers of Aprilspøker in the past), nor Aftenposten, nor VG, nor Dagbladet published April 1 spoof stories. 
 
But others did. Here are the three best media stories, and one bonus story from the Christian Democratic party. 
 
1) Professor calls for 100 new swear words: Apollon. The in-house research magazine for the University of Oslo, fielded arguably the year’s best April Fools’ Day prank, with a story about a Professor of Nordic languages calling for the creation of a hundred new swear words. “Today swearwords become so quickly outdated that they must be replaced,” Professor Ruth E. Vatvedt Fjeld told the magazine. “Swearwords such as ‘herregud’ [God] ‘drit’ [shit], ‘faen’ [the devil], ‘helvete’ [hell] and ‘Satan’ must go,” she said. “‘Jesus’, pronounced as ‘djisus’ doesn’t work any more either. ‘Fuck’ is completely worn out”. There are so overused that they have lost all their old potency.”
 
2). Church offers ‘Alter Ale’ to lure locals to CommunionVårt Land Per Inge Haavik, a beer brewer in Grinstead is known as the ‘beer priest’ for his past as a priest, has teamed up with Oddvar Tveito, the town’s local priest to offer a special wheat beer for communion instead of wine. The chuck is still discussing whether the beer should be alcoholic.  “More and more people, active churchgoers included, are keen on beer and brewing. As a vibrant national church we must show that we are of our time, and that we have the capacity for renewal. Therefore, I think this is a great idea, and I think it's going to be a success,” Haavik told the newspaper. 
 
 
The Christian Democrats take the prize for most hard-to-confirm April Fool’s Joke. The party's Hordaland wing marked the day with a press release (either brilliantly deadpan or horribly po-faced) condemning the practice and calling for all newspapers engaging in April foolery to be stripped of state subsidies.   “It is completely wrong about the state should support newspapers that tell people news that is untrue,” said Pål Kårbø, the head of the party in Hordaland. “How can people continue believing what they read in the papers when they know journalists don’t even take a breath before spreading lies without compunction.” By the end of the day, there was nothing on the party's website to indicate if Kårbo was in earnest, although according to the NTB newswire, it was, in fact, a joke. 
 
 
NRK's Buskerud office defied the state broadcaster's refusal to play the game, running a story about how the local fire department was using drones to sweep chimneys, complete with an image of a quadcopter dangling a chimney rod. "Drone Sweeping could be a big new thing, both in Norway and overseas," Frode Raaen, head of the local fire department said. "Drones have developed and we have great faith in this project. This is the future." 
 
 
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